19 March 2024

NHBF Board Member Elections – voting closed

Voting for the National Hair & Beauty Federation 2024 Board Member Elections has now closed.

Thank you to everyone who took part. We will announce the results in due time.


Major reform package to boost apprenticeships

In his first economic speech since the Spring Budget, the Prime Minister is expected to set out a major package of reforms to support businesses to deliver more apprenticeship places, cut red tape for SMEs and leverage more private investment in female founders.

The Government will fully fund apprenticeships in small businesses from 1st April by paying the full cost of training for anyone up to the age of 21 - reducing costs and burdens for businesses and delivering more opportunities for young people to kick start their careers.

This will remove the need for small employers to meet some of the cost of training and saves time and costs for providers like further education colleges who currently need to source funding separately from the government and businesses. 

Caroline Larissey, Chief Executive at NHBF responding to the government reform package on apprenticeships said:

‘I’m pleased to see this announcement responding to our calls for more support for apprenticeships after the gaping hole in the Spring Budget on skills. The hair and beauty sector has long been a significant provider of employment for young people across the UK. Along with the uplift in funding to the hair professional apprenticeship standard, we hope that this support on training costs will help training providers and go some way to reversing the decline in sector apprenticeship starts.

We look forward to more details about how the sector will benefit directly. With rising wage costs in April, few businesses are looking to take on staff or apprentices and anecdotally some are even looking at redundancy and reducing staff hours. More flexibility to reallocate the levy is useful but we also need to find ways of supporting those businesses that prefer apprentices aged 21+ because of the experience and skills they bring to the businesses.’

Read the full story here.


Trading Standards unveils manifesto to protect consumers and take on criminals.

Stronger protection at ports/borders, school lessons in consumer rights and licensing of tradesmen among measures proposed.

The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) has published its manifesto for the next Government with bold measures to protect consumers and to support local economic growth. 

The manifesto “Helping Local Communities and Businesses to Prosper” sets out bold asks from the next Government which the UK’s Trading Standards officers believe are necessary to protect consumers and safeguard law abiding businesses. These measures include:

  • Stronger protections at the UK’s Ports and Borders – with almost half of goods entering the UK found to be unsafe or counterfeit, CTSI wants to see an additional 400 staff and greater resources allocated to undertake checks on goods entering the UK;
  • Clearer legal duties on Online Marketplaces such as Facebook Marketplace – less than half of consumers see these as trustworthy places to shop;
  • Introduction of lessons for young people in schools so that they know their Consumer Protection Rights;
  • Licensing of tradespeople who are involved in the green energy sector – this market is estimated to be worth £1 trillion over the next 5 years and Trading Standards officers are concerned that consumers will be susceptible to criminal activity from fraudsters;
  • The appointment of a Consumer Champion in Government;
  • Investment in the Trading Standards workforce, including considering alternative methods of funding to plug the gap with over 2000 Trading Standards posts nationally.  Over the last decade funding has been cut by half and almost 50% of the workforce has been lost.

The full manifesto can be viewed here.


Businesses to benefit from Welsh Government future proofing fund

Hundreds of micro, small and medium-sized businesses in Wales will soon be able to apply for Welsh Government funding designed to help them to reduce their running costs.

Grants of between £5,000 and £10,000 will be available to eligible businesses in the retail, hospitality, and leisure sectors.

The £20 million Future Proofing Fund will help businesses strengthen their future trading position by increasing profitability through investment in renewable energy technology, improvements to the fabric of their premises, and upgrades to systems or machinery to reduce energy use.

Read the full story here


LGBTQ+ small business survey

Small businesses are invited to take part in a new survey on LGBTQ+ businesses, conducted by OutBritain and OPEN, a non-profit think tank. The survey focuses on the experiences of LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs and will help to form the basis of a report on the contributions, and challenges faced by LGBTQ+ small businesses and entrepreneurs in the UK.

The survey is confidential and only takes a few minutes to complete and can be completed via the link.


Campaigning for you – in Scotland

The NHBF shared the latest State of the Industry quarterly survey results with Joe Fitzpatrick, Minister for Local Government Empowerment and Planning and with responsibility for the retail sector in Scotland.

In his response he said:

‘We recognise the vital importance of the contribution the hair and beauty sector makes to Scotland’ and congratulated the NHBF on the work we are doing. He recognised the challenging economic conditions and has urged the UK Government to use all the powers at their disposal to support the sector.

NHBF had highlighted the recent decline in apprenticeship starts in Scotland and called for collaboration to address this but in response he pointed out: ‘Recent statistics published by SDS show that by the end of Q3 2023/24 there were 415 Modern Apprenticeship starts on the Hairdressing and Barbering framework, a positive increase of 116 starts compared to the same point the previous year (299 Modern Apprenticeship starts in Q3 2022/23’